Tbilisi, Georgia, March 30, 2012—IFC,
a member of the World Bank Group, together with the European Bank for Reconstruction
and Development (EBRD), the Netherlands Development Bank (FMO), and Black
Sea Trade and Development Bank (BSTDB), is supporting small and medium
businesses in the Caucasus by investing in a new private equity fund.
IFC and its partner international financial
institutions are initially providing $40 million, and Small Enterprise
Assistance Funds (SEAF) is contributing an additional $2 million, to the
SEAF Caucasus Growth Fund, with a target size of $70 million. The fund
is the first professionally structured and managed private equity fund
in the Caucasus region to provide debt and equity capital to small and
medium enterprises in Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia.
Tomasz Telma, IFC Director for Europe
and Central Asia, said, “Lack of capital is one of the most serious challenges
for small and medium enterprises in the Southern Caucasus. Through this
investment in the SEAF Caucasus Growth Fund, IFC is helping address an
important obstacle to these small and medium enterprises, which represent
the backbone of economic diversification and employment."
The fund will invest across a range
of industries, with particular focus on consumer and business services,
agribusiness, distribution and retail, all of which have been largely underserved
by private equity providers.
This investment is part of IFC’s regional
strategy in Europe and Central Asia to support small and medium enterprises.
IFC works with banks, businesses, and governments to increase access to
finance and improve the environment for small and medium enterprises, which
account for a significant share of employment and overall economic activity
in the region.
SEAF is a global fund manager with an
extensive track record of developing local fund management capacity and
providing growth and expansion capital to small and medium enterprises
in emerging markets in Eastern Europe, Latin America, and Asia.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group,
is the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the
private sector. We help developing countries achieve sustainable growth
by financing investment, providing advisory services to businesses and
governments, and mobilizing capital in the international financial markets.
In fiscal 2011, amid economic uncertainty across the globe, we helped our
clients create jobs, strengthen environmental performance, and contribute
to their local communities—all while driving our investments to an all-time
high of nearly $19 billion. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.
For more information about BSTDB,
For more information about EBRD,
For more information about FMO, visit
For more information about SEAF,